Nas Sahota has completely revamped what was a run-down fish and chip shop on a housing estate in Southampton, not only giving it a new lease of life, but a new layout and identity.
His second shop in the area, Nas decided to simply clean up Poppies Plaice when he bought it three years ago and re-open rather than do any major renovations straight away. He comments: “I did toy with the idea of refurbishing is straight away but I thought I would see how trade was first and just make sure the trade was there. Once I had established the business, I went for the refit.”
In the summer last year, Nas completely gutted the shop, putting in new flooring, walls and ceilings as well as signage, menus and TV screens, while his wife worked on designing a new logo to go with the new name, Fish & Co.
With Fish & Co taking shape, Nas needed to replace the shop’s old island range, choosing a four pan model from Hopkins. “I thought Hopkins’ frying ranges had good recovery rates, the look of their ranges was really impressive and also their customer service was very good,” he comments. “If I was ever to have a problem with my range, I wanted to know someone was going to turn up when they said they would and I got that confidence with Hopkins.”
Working with Hopkins to create the ideal layout, Nas had the choice of another island range or changing to a counter range. He comments: “Hopkins created a few different layouts for us but in the end we decided that a counter range would open the shop up a little bit and the customers could see the food, which would possibly give a little bit of impulse buy as well.”
Choosing a four pan range, Nas switched from free frying to basket frying which, although at the start took a bit of getting used to, Nas now says the staff find a lot easier, adding: “The staff can pick out the chips much quicker as there’s not so much time spent fishing them out, it’s literally just the one movement, which is great for when we are busy.”
As well as the range, Hopkins also supplied a new extraction canopy, storage refrigeration and a Merlin fat filtration machine as well as a stainless steel counter complete with cut out logo.
“I’m especially pleased with the logo at the front of the range,” says Nas. “Hopkins wasn’t sure at first if they could get that colour, but it was the colour we really wanted to go for and they managed to pull it off.
“Customers are giving us really good feedback and saying the food is a lot better than before and we’re noticing the difference too. We’ve also changed the packaging. Before we used to wrap everything whereas now we’re using the Trawler range from T.Quality, so bags for the chips and boxes for the fish and chips. We’ve just brought everything a lot more up-to-date.”
With trade up on the same period last year, Nas is now set to apply the new design to his second shop a few miles down the road, bringing both under the same brand.
Hopkins 0113 257 7934 www.hopkins.biz